The Citadel’s Eubanks Named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year; Bulldogs Picked Fourth

The Citadel’s Eubanks Named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year; Bulldogs Picked Fourth
(Source: The Citadel Athletics)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Citadel senior linebacker Willie Eubanks III was named the Southern Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s head coaches.

As a team, the Bulldogs were picked fourth by both the head coaches and media members.

Offensive lineman Haden Haas, defensive back Chris Beverly and punter Matt Campbell joined Eubanks on the first team. Wide receiver Raleigh Webb and defensive lineman Dalton Owens were selected to the second team.

Eubanks, the reigning SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, continued his strong career during an abbreviated fall season. In four games, Eubanks recorded 43 tackles, 5.0 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks. He recorded at least eight tackles in each game, including a season-best 14 against Eastern Kentucky and 12 against South Florida.

During the 2019 season, Eubanks put together one of the best seasons in program history. He finished the year with 112 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception and 11 quarterback hurries.

Haas is being honored after starting every game since the start of the 2018 season. He has anchored a line that has ranked in the Top 10 in the FCS in rushing over the last few years. The Bulldogs have rushed for at least 275 yards 14 times since the start of the 2018 season, including rushing for 275 yards against Alabama in 2018 and 320 yards in a victory over Georgia Tech in 2019.

Beverly is coming off an abbreviated fall season in which he recorded 26 tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss and one sack.

Last season, Beverly was a Second-Team All-SoCon selection after posting 71 tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble, one interception and six pass break-ups. His biggest play of the season came at ETSU will he made a stop on the goal line on a fourth-down play in the final minute to secure the victory.

Campbell has been recognized as the top punter in the conference in each of his first two seasons in the Lowcountry. Last season, he led the conference by averaging 44.1 yards on 35 punts. Ten of his punts traveled at least 50 yards, with 12 resulting in fair catches and 13 being downed inside the 10-yard line.

In an abbreviated fall season, Campbell averaged 40.0 yards on 23 punts. He had three punts over 50 yards and eight punts downed inside the 20. He also handled kickoff duties and successfully executed an onside kick to start the game against Army West Point.

Webb was a first-team all-conference selection by the coaches following the 2019 season. His season was one of the best for a Bulldog since Andre Roberts re-wrote the record books. Webb finished the year with 30 catches for 617 yards and a league-best 10 touchdowns. He caught a touchdown in nine of the 12 games, including starting the season with a TD in five-straight games. He also rushed seven times for 47 yards and averaged 18.0 yards on seven kickoff returns.

In an abbreviated fall season, Webb caught four passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown against Eastern Kentucky was the 16th of his career, tying him for second on the school’s all-time list. Webb also completed a 38-yard pass against Clemson.

Owens plays a key role up front in helping the Bulldogs be one of the top rushing defenses in the Southern Conference. Last season, Owens finished with 23 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks.

In the abbreviated fall season, Owens registered five tackles, four solo, and two tackles-for-loss.